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Private firm to buy Saba Software; report discusses older workforce

The announcement came hours after the SEC said two former Saba Software executives agreed to reimburse the company nearly $500,000 in bonuses and stock sale profits.

Saba Software, whose former CEO and two former CFOs have resolved charges of accounting fraud, agreed to be sold to a private equity firm for $9 a share in an all-cash deal totaling about $270 million.

Vector Capital, based in San Francisco, agreed to purchase Saba Software, which sells cloud-based talent management HCM software and employs 735 people full time.

The sale announcement of Saba Software came on Feb. 10, just hours after the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) said that two former CFOs of Saba Software -- William Slater and Peter Williams III -- agreed to return to Saba nearly $500,000 in bonuses and stock sale profits they received while the Silicon Valley software company was committing accounting fraud.

In a settlement order, the SEC said Slater, the CFO from Dec. 2008 to Oct. 2011, and Williams, the interim CFO from Oct. 2011 to Jan. 2012 and current executive vice president of corporate development, received $337,375 and $141,992, respectively, during time periods when Saba presented false and misleading financial statements. Neither was personally charged with the company's misconduct, but under a provision in the Sarbanes-Oxley law, they were required to reimburse the company for bonuses and stock profits received during the fraud.

Last September, the SEC charged Saba and two former vice presidents, Patrick Farrell and Sajeev Menon, with accounting fraud that involved falsifying timesheets to meet quarterly financial goals. Saba agreed to pay a $1.75 million federal civil penalty to settle the charges, and Farrell and Menon also settled.

The SEC last September similarly reached an agreement with former CEO Babak "Bobby" Yazdani to reimburse the company $2.5 million in bonuses and stock profits that he received while the accounting fraud was occurring, even though he was not charged with wrongdoing.

Vector Capital's purchase of Saba is just 2% more than the $8.80 closing price of the stock on Feb. 10. The stock had jumped by 30% since Saba announced on Jan. 20 that multiple suitors expressed interest in a possible acquisition. The 52-week high for Saba was $14.25.

The transaction must be approved by Saba shareholders and meet customary closing conditions. The sale is expected to close in the coming months.

Report finds gaps in employers preparing for older workers

A new report warns that employers could be hurt by potential shortcomings in their current practices for preparing for an aging workforce.

The 44-page report by the Society for Human Resource Management (SHRM) noted the following areas of concern:

  • A short-term mind-set by employers on assessing the effects of aging employees on their business.
  • A lack of urgency in preparing for impending demographic shifts.
  • A lack of formal long-term forecasting, planning and assessment tools.

The report, issued Feb. 10, identifies gaps between effective practices in employing, recruiting and retaining older workers and the current practices used by organizations.

To find the gaps, the report compares the SHRM foundation's effective practice guidelines with a SHRM 2014 survey of 1,913 HR professionals on their actual practices related to workers older than 55.

In the survey, for example, only 1% of respondents said proficiency with information technology applications was the strongest applied skill of older workers when compared to other employees.

The survey also found that 7% of respondents' companies were increasing automated processes such as robotics to prepare for a potential skills gap as a result of a loss of older workers.

In a more optimistic note, the new report cited "clear signs" that awareness is growing among HR professionals about the dramatic impact that an aging workforce could have on their organizations and industries.

The report is included in a national initiative by SHRM and the SHRM Foundation to highlight the opportunities and challenges of an aging workforce and pinpoint effective practices for recruiting and employing older workers. The Alfred P. Sloan Foundation is financing the initiative.

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